Wednesday, December 17, 2008

King Ranch Chicken and Italian Cookies

Everything is bigger in Texas. Everything is cheesier, spicier, beefier and tastier.

It's a state law I say that. Though I do agree.

Meet King Ranch Chicken. No one's quite sure where this tasty little dish comes from, other than it's named after one of the biggest ranches in South Texas. Legend has it a ranch hand whipped this up, while others say it's a Texas twist on Chicken a La King. I don't particularly care either way. The only thing I need to know is it's good, easy to make and seriously Texan. And it is. So I'm done.

King ranch chicken is basically a spicy (but not too spicy) enchilada casserole. It's got corn tortillas, chopped chicken, Rotel and green chilies and plenty of cheese. I add black beans to mine for kicks, but it's not the traditional Texan way. If you really want to knock the socks off of the folks at home, make this the night before and let it marinate for awhile. I'll guarantee you that you'll have trouble not eating the whole pan in one sitting.

Not that I've ever done that. Ahem.

After such a flavorful dinner, it's a Texas rule that one must have a cookie.

I just made that up. But it sounds good doesn't it?

So if you have a hankering for sweets like I do 24 hours a day, why not mosey over to a basket of Italian cookies and see what happens?

Since the Blond Duck is always honest, I'll admit I goofed while trying to half the recipe and dumped too many eggs and then too much flour to overcompensate, turning out these sweet shortbread like treats. I loved them. That's all that counts.

A little icing and sprinkles can cheer up everyone's day. It's Christmas. We all need a cookie. Or three.

Or a basket, if you're me.

King Ranch Chicken the Blond Duck way

3-4 chicken breasts, boiled and chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag sharp cheddar cheese
12 corn tortillas
1 can black beans
1 can rotel, drained
1 can mild green chilies
Chili powder to taste (I use a lot)
Onion and garlic powder to taste
A little extra cheese for sprinkling

Mix soup, rotel, chilies, black beans and seasonings in pot. Add cheese. Stir until cheese melts and mixture is somewhat warm. Cover greased casserole dish with tortillas. Spoon generous glob of mixture over it, then sprinkle chicken and cheese. Repeat layers two or three more times, depending on how much mixture and chicken you have. Cover top layer with tortillas and rest of mixture, then sprinkle some cheese. Bake at 375 for thirty minutes.

I never said it was healthy.

Italian Cookies from my favorite sweets book:
6 cups all purpose flour
2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs
1-1/2 cup of sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 lb. shortening, melted and cooled

Combine first three ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Blend eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla together, mix in cooled shortening. Stir into flour mixture. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 450 degrees for 8-10 min or until golden brown. Makes 6 dozen.

4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, blend on low speed for one minute. Increase speed to medium. Blend until fluffy about two minutes.

Stay tuned Invisible Friends! Tomorrow we have a new Twirl and Friday we have an Ode to Christmas Cookies and how I love thee. Saturday the Fuzzy Duck and Rubber Chicken go on their third date--and drama arises!


doggybloggy said...


Lilly's Life said...

They look so good!!

Amanda said...

Oh that chicken dish sounds great, I am saving it!

Colleen said...

I have had King Ranch before but felt the recipe could be better - and yours looks like the one! I can't wait to make this!

Cathy said...

Yum -- the king ranch chicken looks like exactly the kind of dish I need right now. And my grandmother used to make Italian cookies like that, but never had a recipe. Yours look just like them, though, so I can't wait to try it so I can see if it's the one!!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

more fantastic recipes -really I don't know how you stay so skinny!!

Happy cook said...

WOW i love the chicken, it looks so creamy delcious.
Love the cookie too.
But chicken that is just super yumm.

Katherine Aucoin said...

My family would love the King Ranch Chicken.

Julie said...

those recipes sound great... wish I could get those ingredients here... I will have to see what I can do to substitute... thanks

Maria said...

Nice work in the kitchen!!

Ingrid said...

That King Ranch sounds pretty good. I like spicy.

Linda said...

The chicken looks so good. Keeping it for a nice winter meal some night. We make the Italian cookies every year...they are one of the favorites with a cup of coffee or tea!

Debbie said...

Both recipes look great. And I think I would love being in Texas and eating!

Passionate About Baking said...

Indulgent in every way dear duck...very 'KING" sors & very Texan! I love the flavours you cooked up in the chicken...mmmmmmmmm!

MammaDucky said...

Hot damn! The Texan in me cannot me stiffled! I've been making this dish for a long time, not knowing it was a Texas thing!!! I think I may need to make this...haven't done so in a while. Yummms, thanks pal!

~Ducks of a feather flock together.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That recipe looks so yummy. I wonder if I could convince my husband that it doesn't have cheese in it so I could make it.

I love those Gooseberry Patch cookbooks!

Noodlegirl said...

Hey! Thank you for coming to my blog!! I absolutely love your blog and I want those food!!

Marjie said...

Your chicken sounds awesome. My grandfather came from Texas - he told me that my nationality was Texan when I was about 7 - and he always told everyone that everything is bigger and better in Texas. Which doesn't explain why he was short, but nevermind. Your cookies look good. I prefer nice, fat, shortbread type cookies, myself.

Aleta said...

You had me at "chicken a la king" - a favorite of mine and yes indeed - Texans like it with flavor, just like Louisianians, so I can't WAIT to try this recipe!

Joanna said...

I just had to wipe the drool off of my chin - twice!

Grace said...

king ranch chicken is a winner time and time again, and i really like your take on it. and although i don't think i've ever had italian cookies, there's no way i wouldn't like 'em. after all, they're cookies. :)

TavoLini said...

King Ranch is always a winner over here! I'd never heard of it until I worked at Whole Foods--they brought it from Texas to all over the States :D

And I dig the cookie rule, too!

Anonymous said...

Oh drool!! I confess to eating about a pound of cookies by myself yesterday. But, I think I'll attempt your Italian cookies because they sound so easy to make...the easier to make, the faster I can get them into my mouth.

Mandy said...

YUM! I made italian cookies, too. They are very similar to yours! :)

Marie said...

Oh Yummo!!! MY favourite casserole and delicious cookies all on the same day!!! I am going to make this king ranch casserole as soon as I can get all the ingredients together! Your version looks decidedly tasty!!! Love you lots my friend! I can't wait to read the next twirl and of course all about cookies and the fuzzy duck!! Yahoo! This has been a really first rate week on your blog, but then again, every week is first rate!! XXOO E-mail me, I wanna know how your book is doing. I bet copies are racing off the shelves!!

Esi said...

Before this week I had never heard of King Ranch I have seen it twice.

The Food Librarian said...

Yummy! These look good. 6 cups of flour - that makes a lot of cookies!!! :)

Jen Sue Wild said...

I am going to have to try that kings chicken it looks so yummy..

Pam said...

The chicken then the cookies would be a perfect dinner. YUM!

Bobbi Jo said...

Yummy! I love the Goose Berry Patch gals. The books are wonderful with all the fun drawings make me want to color them in. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

jenjen said...

Duckie --
Your King Ranch Chicken looks fantastic. I think my kids will love it! And cookies too... What could be better?

I finally got your little package out the door. I hope it gets to you soon. Thanks for being a wonderful friend. I hope things are going well with your book!!!


Erica said...

owwwwwwwwwww those cookies look fabulous! I haven't had thos ein forever and they are def one of my favorite cookies!

Southern Fried Cupcakes~ said...

Those cookies are the best~She makes them every chance she gets and I can't eat enough of them lol!

Heather said...

oh my gosh! i've never heard of king ranch chicken! it sounds amazing! i am making it for my husband THIS WEEKEND. he would love it! and a law requiring a post dinner cookie?! that's my kinda law. you should start lobbying, asap :)

Reeni said...

The King Ranch Chicken sounds so good!!!I love your addition of black beans. The cookies look scrumptious too. They look like cookies we call Soft Biscotti.

sassy stephanie said...

Love KR chicken. Haven't made it in awhile though. May have to head to the store for supplies tomorrow! I'm totally behind the cookie law. Get's get that set into motion.

Lori said...

I like your rule of cookies after dinner. Its a good rule. ANd how can you go wrong with these cookies!

The Acting Mom said...

Visiting from SITS.
They both look super tasty!

Juliet said...

A bag of cheese? Texas dinner is always followed by a cookie? You are hilarious!! :) I'm glad I live in California. :)

Diana said...

For goofed up cookies, those look pretty awesome!

As for the chicken dish -- I think my heart just seized a little. Glug glug! ;)

noble pig said...

I'm all about the King! Love it! And very texas.

Sara said...

I love enchilada casseroles, your cookies look great too!

Pearl said...

ooh those cookies are adorable!

LOL at first i thought it was king ranch chicken italian cookies. i thought you baked the chicken into a cookie!

Lorraine E said...

Wow, I've never seen this dish before but it sounds great! And I've definitely heard from friends that servings are definitely bigger in Texas! ;)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Love love the KR chicken. I have seen it around but never made it. Will have to change that for sure!!!!

State Law - cute!!!

Chef E said...

Oh MAN Duckie...I have not had that in forever! That is what happens when you get all professional, and marry a NYC lost heritage foods are calling out to me!

I will be making this, and I love the stories...Twirl is just absolutely wonderful! You are inspiring me to remove my 'personal' blog and replace it with some of my own stories...AND you are right everything in Texas is bigger and better *wink* from one Texas girl to the other!

Anonymous said...